Asia’s integrated resort communities take mixed-use developments to a whole new level

Offering investors a one-stop shop that encompasses retail, green space and lifestyle amenities

The ambitious KN Paradise Cam Ranh development in Vietnam features hotels, villas and a Greg Norman-designed championship golf course

In a region with cities notorious for their patience-testing traffic, soaring mercury levels and at-times questionable urban planning, mixed-use projects have long been viewed as a practical solution. Historically they primarily comprised retail and office space and the occasional hotel. Many developers are now taking the concept to its logical conclusion and positioning resort-style residences at the heart of these projects—increasingly referred to as integrated communities.

Standout urban examples include the vast USD3.5bn One Bangkok development in the Thai capital—which upon completion in 2026 will encompass living and work space for 60,000 people, including residential, office and retail zones, as well as publicly accessible parks and green spaces—and Singapore’s Marina One, a residential and office development with a 65,000-square-foot tropical garden in the heart of the central business district.

Few developers in the sector, however, are as prolific as Megaworld Corporation. The Philippine property behemoth currently boasts a portfolio of about 30 integrated lifestyle and entertainment townships across the country with amenities ranging from museums to large-scale casinos and standalone tourist attractions, such as Newcoast Station, a multi-faceted entertainment complex that sits at the heart of the Philippines Property Award-winning Newcoast Village in Boracay.

A view of the MGallery Residences, Montazure lakeside from the pool deck

Beyond Boracay, other established resort destinations in the region are also playing host to ambitious integrated communities. Only moments from Phuket’s coveted Millionaire’s Mile sits MontAzure, a 72-hectare mixed-use project packed with internationally branded leisure facilities, including Cafe del Mar, The InterContinental Phuket Resort, restaurants, and retail outlets. The latest phase, MontAzure Lakeside, will feature Thailand’s first MGallery Residences managed by Europe’s largest hotel operator, AccorHotels.

These developments should offer residents and tourists a wide variety of world-class amenities, and, most importantly, align with internationally-renowned hospitality brands

“Every MGallery property should reflect the beauty and soul of its destination and this development perfectly captures Phuket’s tropical ambience whilst operating in harmony with the environment,” says Jeff Tisdall, AccorHotels’ vice president of residential development. “Together with MontAzure, we will create engaging experiences that raise the quality of residential living in Phuket.”

More: 6 of Asia’s best resorts within mixed-use developments

The concept is also being embraced in up-and-coming resort hubs such as Cam Ranh in Vietnam. Named Best Integrated Resort Development at the Vietnam Property Awards 2019, the hugely ambitious KN Paradise Cam Ranh will include 26,000 residential units including villas, condominiums and shophouses within a 794-hectare masterplanned development. It will also incorporate multiple commercial and entertainment zones, a Wyndham hotel, hospital and international boarding school, as well as a 27-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman.

Integrated resort communities in Vietnam will continue to take hold in the coming years, especially around resort cities like Cam Ranh and Da Nang, according to Thien Duong, managing director of Transform Architecture and chairperson of the Vietnam Property Awards. “In Vietnam, the opportunity to design and develop these projects is still fresh, so developers can learn from the mistakes made in other countries,” he says. “For them to succeed, they should focus on coastal destinations within close proximity to the city, offer residents and tourists a wide variety of world-class amenities, and, most importantly, align with internationally renowned hospitality brands.”

From Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand to Boracay in the Philippines to Cam Ranh in Vietnam, these integrated resort communities prove to be unlike any stereotypical mixed-use developments.

This article is the second of a three-part series on ‘Paradise in different packages’. It originally appeared in Issue No. 158 of PropertyGuru Property Report Magazine. Read the first, third parts here. The third part will be published next week.